A woman ended up in hospital with horrific facial injuries after her horse fell into a pothole on a country road.
Sherrie Hopwood was left with nasty cuts to her lips, nose and forehead after the fall near Daisy Nook Country Park in Oldham, Greater Manchester.
The 57-year-old had taken her horse Jay for a ride around the Daisy Nook bridal path when it stepped into the pothole on Crime Lane, which was full of water.
Businesswoman Sherrie said the horse's knees gave way and it fell, sending her crashing face first into the ground.
'I managed to force myself up to get up. I was very lucky because Jay didn't panic. If she had, she could have killed me.'
It’s not a light saber but may be the closest thing for horse riders: A new flashing horse crop has earned recognition at the BETA trade show in the UK.
The Gizahand LED whip was highly commended in the Safety and Security section of the British Equestrian Trade Association Innovation awards last week in Birmingham.
The whip with LED light is highly visible to road users and charged using a USB port, providing constant light for 10 hours, flash mode for 14 and flashlight for 20. Various colours and sizes are available.
An estimated 160,000 visitors entered the hallowed ground that is Burghley Park across the duration of this weekend. You can only begin to imagine the complexity of not only keeping the event running smoothly, but also keeping the visiting crowds safe and sound. Once up and running Burghley is the size of a small town, and the resources that go into making this weekend possible are impressive. I for one was completely oblivious to the extent to which Burghley goes to keep both it's visitors and competitors safe.
As a volunteer doctor this year I was lucky enough to gain a valuable insight into the workings of Burghley Horse Trials. Not only is there a large number of medical staff in attendance but there is provision of all emergency services. In today's world where safety is a huge concern major incident protocols and plans have to be decided, rehearsed and refined. For those who work in event management this will all sound very normal but I for one had never before put much thought to this.
Burghley doctors are all volunteers, and there is around fifty of them! Each fence has a dedicated fence doctor, there is a host of General Practitioners in the first aid tent, and on Saturday an air ambulance helicopter is on site with a crew ready to take injured patients out to hospital if needed. That's not to mention all of the Red Cross and St John's ambulance staff who do such a fantastic job. A full day of training takes place the Saturday before Burghley for all the doctors. It takes staff through simulated scenarios and outlines the quirks of Burghley which can make managing emergency situations difficult. Issues such as crowd control, patient privacy on course, and of course horse management are important to consider in advance of the day and are easily overlooked.
This year I was located down in Discovery Valley and the beautiful weather, incredible riding and great crowds made for an enjoyable day. The riders and horses did a fantastic job at a set of tricky fences, and those who fell were up and walking in seconds. Albeit a few very scary seconds while I grabbed my bag and headed over to them. The adrenaline rush was like no other, being surrounded by a huge hushed crowd, just hoping that the fallen rider doesn't need your help.
I hold a new respect for those who organise the mammoth challenge that is Burghley Horse Trials, and I thank them for their hard work and dedication. It is such a fantastic event and one at which I hope to be a volunteer for many years to come. I have left this weekend re-invigorated with both enthusiasm for my profession and passion for eventing.
Rider number 51, Sophie Brown and Wil on course on Saturday
An 'out of control' Rottweiler is seen chasing and barking at horses in Oxford.
The incident was recorded by Tracy Smith, 40, an experienced horse rider.
She says dog owners need to be educated more on safety around bigger animals.
Dogs should be kept on leads and in ear shot of owners when a horse is nearby.
A mum in Oxford has revealed terrifying footage of an 'out of control' Rottweiler chasing her teenage daughter's horse for more than three minutes.
Tracy Smith's daughter, Ella, 14, clung on in fear when the large dog repeatedly darted at her horse, barking as it chased them in circles near their home on August, 12.
Before we begin... I am a qualified doctor currently training in Anaesthetics and I have an interest in equestrian events medicine and trauma. This blog does not aim to replace first aid training, and I would recommend that all those spending time around horses gain formal training.
Horses are inherently unpredictable and therefore there is always a chance that when you are spending time with horses an accident could happen. That’s a fact, and one that we can’t change, but what we can change is our knowledge of how we manage the situation when things go wrong. This is the first in a series of blogs on what to do if someone is hurt or injured around their horse.
As an Anaesthetic trainee with an interest in equestrian events medicine I am passionate about teaching people what to do when someone is seriously injured. This may seem basic to those of you who have had some first aid or medical training but it is the simple things that can save people’s lives. What I aim to do in this blog is to explain what you need to do if someone has a bad fall.
So here is the first scenario...
A rider falls from their horse and is lying on the ground. They are awake and talking but saying that they have pain in their back or neck. What do you do?
1. Do not move them and encourage them to keep their head and neck as still as they can. Do not let them get up if they have pain in their back or neck. Spinal injuries are common in horse riding related falls, and keeping someone still is vital to ensure that they do not develop any further spinal cord injury.
2. Call an ambulance urgently and inform them that the patient is conscious but has pain in their back or neck. Relaying this information and details of any other injuries accurately will allow the ambulance service to allocate the correct resources to you.
3. Keep them warm. In patients who have undergone significant trauma, staying warm is key and lying in mud or on wet sand can make people cold very quickly. Horse rugs are great for this!
4. Keep them talking. This will allow you to recognise when/ if they become confused or drowsy indicating a potential head injury.
5. Keep a timeline. Try and keep track of the timing of events, and if there are any changes in the patient's condition make a note of when they occur.
So what do you do if someone is unconscious following a fall?
If someone is unconscious you must first of all check that they are breathing. If you are confident checking for a pulse then do this as well, but if not then there are three things you need to do:
• Look – see if their chest is moving as they breathe
• Listen – put your ear to their mouth and make sure you can hear them breathing
• Feel – put your hand lightly on their chest and see if you can feel it moving
If they are not breathing and there is no pulse then you need to commence CPR immediately. (I will not cover this in detail but more information can be found at https://www.resus.org.uk/resuscitation-guidelines/adult-basic-life-support-and-automated-external-defibrillation/#sequence)
1. Once you have determined that they are breathing, do not move them. In particular make sure that you do not move their head and neck in case they have an injury here. Keep a close eye on their breathing as their condition can change very quickly.
2. Urgently calling an ambulance, keeping them warm, and keeping a timeline of events apply in this situation also.
Other things to consider:
• Does anyone there know anything about their medical history? Allergies, known medical conditions and medications are again very helpful for the ambulance. If these can be written down and given to the crew this will help on arrival at A&E.
Have you ever taken the time to think about what would happen if you were to have a bad fall when you were at a competition? In particular out on a cross country course falls can cause serious injuries and prompt effective help is something that you want, and you want it quickly.
When competing in unaffiliated events it is important to know what services will be available for you and your horse if you were to fall. As one of the most dangerous sports in the country, with a significant number of spinal injuries associated with riders falling, the first time you wonder if there is a doctor at an event might be when you desperately need them. British Eventing requires a doctor and a vet to attend all their events, and there are rules in place regarding when you are allowed to ride again following an injury. In contrast unaffiliated eventing will provide medical cover at the discretion of the organisers, which may mean that there is not a doctor or a vet present.
Depending on location a medical trauma team can usually attend an event relatively quickly, either by helicopter or by road. They can provide any urgent medical care and transfer the patient to the nearest appropriate hospital. That means that whilst they are making their way to the site of the accident, the first aiders or paramedics who were covering the event will be responsible for stabilising anyone injured. I certainly feel more comfortable when I leave the cross country start box at British Eventing events knowing there will be a doctor who will be with me in minutes if I have a fall and need their help.
I would recommend that every horse rider know some basic first aid, and what to do if someone falls and is significantly injured. Next week’s blog will cover some top tips for you to brush up on your first aid knowledge and key things to remember in an emergency. In the mean time check out what cover the events you enter have and make sure if you have any medical conditions or allergies that you wear an up to date medical armband.